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France win elusive team sabre gold

August 20, 2004 01:11 IST
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France finally won the one Olympic men's fencing title that has always eluded them when they beat Italy 45-42 in the team sabre on Thursday.

Damien Touya, who earlier had his right hand sliced in a close semi-final against the United States, came from behind in the last round against Luigi Tarantino to snatch the gold.

His team mates, Touya's brother Gael and Julien Pillet, also contributed to the drama but Italian Aldo Montano, who won the individual men's sabre, was again the outstanding performer, contributing 23 points to his team's total.

Russia took the bronze after Stanislav Pozdniakov won 10 points in the final round to give them a 45-44 victory over the United States.

Damien Toya said: "I was very anxious about whether or not I would fence tonight because of my injury. I was afraid that I would miss the final but the medical staff did a great job and now everything is okay."

The Italians were less happy about the result.

"Maybe tomorrow I will be happy about winning the silver medal but not now," said Montana whose father and grandfather also won silver in the team sabre.

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